Super Seniors Fitness Solutions

Keys to Living Well, Feeling Great & Enjoying Life

Pilates and Multiple Sclerosis May 26, 2016

Filed under: Fitness,Health,Senior Moments — jax allen @ 7:47 am
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Pilates and Multiple SclerosisSit & Be Fit : Monday & Friday 11:30 – 12:15

Elmscroft Community Centre Gloucester UK

£3 per session Annual membership £10

At Take Heart we have 2 exercise sessions every week suitable to anyone with mobility, breathing or other health issues where a chair based Pilates programme would improve their wellbeing. 

If you have MS some exercises can fire up your Lhermittes (the spine buzzing sensation MSers often experience when bending the head down toward the chest). Others can make you too hot and bring on your symptoms. So, finding the right balance of mobility, strength and stretching is important. 

 

Recommendations:

We have a few tips to keep in mind when you start your Pilates program.

1) I know, I know, you hear this all the time, but it’s smart to first talk to your primary care physician and/or your neurologist.

2) Try out a class at your local gym or Pilates studio. Then try another class with a different instructor. And then try one more class with a different instructor still. Go back to the one you like best and who best fits your exercise style and needs. Some instructors have ungodly challenging classes while others are so effortless that you might as well be taking a nap.

3) Pay attention to your workout room and class times. If heat gives you problems, choose a gym that keeps their rooms on the cool side and aim for morning sessions when these areas tend be cooler. Additionally, classes during off times are less crowded meaning fewer bodies to generate heat.

4) Go at your own pace. If a certain exercise bothers you–your Lhermittes gets fired up, you get too hot, whatever–take a break. Your Pilates instructor can suggest alternative positions that would work better for you. By the same token, if you feel you are not challenged enough, ask the instructor to show you a more difficult technique.

5) For those on tight budgets (or tight timeframes), you can practice Pilates at home once you are comfortable with traditional Pilates movements learned at your classes. It helps to have a yoga/Pilates mat and we’d advise a DVD or book to help jog your memory. 

ActiveMSers Bottom Line: Pilates has the potential to help those with multiple sclerosis in many common problem areas: balance, body awareness, stress, spasticity, and strength to name just a few. As a refreshing mind/body workout, it’s a great alternative–or accompaniment–to tai chi and yoga. Physical therapists often recommend Pilates to help rehabilitate injuries since it incorporates low-impact movements in a gentle, graceful manner: “By emphasizing proper breathing, correct spinal and pelvic alignment, and complete concentration on smooth, flowing movement, you become acutely aware of how your body feels, where it is in space, and how to control its movement.” Give it a shot.
We, at Take Heart, are a friendly social group, we always arrive early to catch up with each other and have refreshments from 10:45. Maybe, join us for a coffee and a biscuit or two. You are sure to feel welcome. 

For a FREETrial call 

Niel on 07715 647472

Or Ernie on 07899 851078

Or email me jaxallenfitness@gmail.com

Enjoy LIFE -Have ENERGY – Stay INDEPENDENT

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Forget Cholesterol!  April 12, 2016

Filed under: Health,Nutrition — jax allen @ 11:18 am
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Forget Cholesterol

Inflammation’s the Real Enemy
Keeping up with which foods to eat and which ones to avoid could be a full-time job. That’s because scientists continue to learn more about what we put in our bodies.
Some of their latest findings could change your mind about fat.

  
Twenty years ago, doctors told us to stay away from high-fat foods like eggs, bacon, and butter because they raised cholesterol and could lead to heart disease.
America responded and stopped eating fat. In its place, however, we ate more sugar and other carbohydrates.
How did that work out? Not great. As a whole, Americans grew fatter and sicker than before. Scientists back then may have reached the wrong conclusion.
Now a growing number of medical experts say weight gain, heart disease, and other illnesses are not caused by high cholesterol, but by something different: inflammation.

  
That means instead of avoiding foods that raise our cholesterol, we need to avoid foods that cause inflammation.

Cholesterol’s Bad Rap

Dr. Beverly Teter, a lipid biochemist at the University of Maryland, studies how the different kinds of fat in food affect our health.
Teter said scientists wrongly blamed cholesterol for heart disease when they saw high levels of it at a damaged blood vessel. Teter believes the body put the cholesterol there to fix the problem, which was actually caused by inflammation.
“It’s the inflammation in the vessels that start the lesion,” she explained. “The body then sends the cholesterol like a scab to cover over it to protect the blood system and the vessel wall from further damage.”
Research also shows cholesterol can protect against respiratory and gastrointestinal problems, and helps create vitamin D. People with higher cholesterol live longer.
Teter said that’s a scientific fact that she can vouch for personally.
“I come from a family that has, my mother’s side, had naturally high cholesterol. Her cholesterol was between 380 and 420 when I started watching her medical records, and she died at 97,” she said. “So I don’t think that cholesterol was too bad for her.”

Inflammation Producers

Cholesterol is especially important in the brain, which contains more cholesterol than any other organ and needs it in order for a message to get passed from one brain cell to another.
Therefore, Teter said when it comes to food choices, don’t worry if it raises your cholesterol. Focus your attention instead on whether it reduces inflammation.
When choosing which fats to eat, pick the ones that are high in Omega 3 fats and also choose natural saturated fats. On the other hand, stay away from the fats that lead to inflammation, such as trans fats and Omega 6 fats.

  

How to you tell the healthy Omega 3s from the unhealthy Omega 6 fats? Vegetable oils and mayonnaise contain Omega 6 fats, so be careful with how much you consume.

  

Ideally, Omega 6 fats are healthy but only when consumed in the same amount as Omega 3 fats. The typical American, however, consumes 15 times more Omega 6 fats than Omega 3s. This imbalance creates inflammation.
So cut back on the Omega 6s and increase your consumption of Omega 3s. These are in foods like olive oil and avocados.
Cold water fish is an excellent source of Omega 3 fat, particularly DHA, which is a super brain booster. One great way to make sure you’re getting enough Omega 3, specifically DHA, is by taking a fish oil supplement. Doctors recommend one that contains at least 750 mg of DHA daily.

Butter is Better

At one time dieticians considered margarine, which is a trans fat, heart healthy. Doctors now say a better choice is butter.
In the last 20 years, trans fats have become the ingredient of choice for almost all processed foods. You can tell something contains trans fat if you see the word “hydrogenated” in the list of ingredients.
Saturated fats have really gotten a bad reputation over the last couple of decades. But they are not as bad as they have been made out to be. In fact, doctors recommend eating some saturated fats every day, such as coconut oil.
This saturated fat fights colds and the flu and has even reversed the symptoms of Alzheimers, ALS and Parkinson’s Disease in some people.

Say ‘No’ to Inflammation

You should also remember those non-fat foods that make us fat and increase inflammation contain sugar and refined carbohydrates. Anything containing high fructose corn syrup or other sugars leads to inflammation.
So do grains, especially refined grains such as white bread, pasta, rice, and so on.
So when it comes to your health, inflammation beats out cholesterol as the new enemy. Take it on by saying “yes” to foods like fish and coconut oil, and “no” to sugar and carbohydrates, and dangerous trans fats.
*Originally aired February 1, 2013.

 

Fitness After 50? April 9, 2016

Filed under: Fitness,Health — jax allen @ 4:40 pm
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Fitness After 50?It’s always going to be a work in progress, but just because the big 50 or even 60 is looming doesn’t mean you should back off your sport or workout routine. 

  
Workout Smart!

What is important is that you focus on what works, not what big box gyms have conned you into doing which is probably ineffective, time consuming and boring. Since the 90’s most gyms and, sadly, many instructors have plonked their members on cardio equipment for hours every week giving false promises about calorie burning and fat loss. 

I’ve worked in gyms for over 30 years and there was a time when I would advise members to step, cycle and row their way through long workouts with maybe a little weight or resistance training. But, in 1994 I attended an National Tutor update and we were shown study after study that proved fitness and shape change was not best achieved by long duration cardio training. 

Since then I have changed the way I plan personal and group sessions. 

Always encouraging clients to work outside their comfort zone. To shorten and intensify their sessions. I’ve gradually moved away from the Aerobic dance, Zumba & Exercise to music style of training – I know it doesn’t control body fat or promote lean shapely muscle and both are even more important as the years fly by. 
  

  
In 2009 I discovered HIIT high intensity interval training. This radically changed how I train my clients. Even my Super Seniors find themselves doing short intense segments within their workouts, making muscles work hard does everything you need to promote health and fitness, and without grinding away delicate and precious joints. 
50 seems like a long time ago now! And 60…..

Looking forward to it and to taking my clients along with me. 

Shorter workouts that change EVERYTIME, that challenge Balance, Strength, Stamina and Suppleness plus a little complexity to get our brains involved too. Add great music and it’s not working out its having FUN! 

So next time you find yourself thinking about cutting back and easing off because you’re 40, 45, 50 or more DONT! 

Find a trainer that understands, that is a role model and work with them! 

Train Smart

Eat Clean

Feel Great
Jax 

 

Female Hormone Basics – What, When, Why….. March 11, 2016

Filed under: Health,Senior Moments — jax allen @ 7:58 am
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Read the entire article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/society-for-womens-health-research/hormones-from-puberty-to-post-menopause_b_9409894.html

 

So, 50 is the new 23! February 12, 2016

Filed under: Senior Moments — jax allen @ 2:13 pm
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So 50 is the new 23!

I heard on BBCBreakfast this morning that 50 is the new 23.
That makes me about 31! Firstly in my 20’s I never even imagined  being 58. Secondly, I don’t think I want to be 31 again.
My thirties were all about ‘juggling’, pregnancy, school runs, running a business, trying to keep a family together…. Phew, I’m tired just thinking about it. 
I prefer my 50’s, I have finally learned to say No!
I no longer waste my time with friends that steal my bliss – you know the ones – the moaners, the groaners, the ‘fun sponge’ that kills the mood wherever they go.
Sure, I wouldn’t mind another crack at my 40’s, but I’d definitely not want to go back to my 20’s and definitely not now. It’s so difficult for young people to get their adult lives started. Trying to live while saving for a house deposit, insuring a car to get to work, trying to get a job with a wage high enough to live on. 
 
No, I like being in my 50’s. Enough energy and good health to enjoy pretty much anything that comes my way. Yes, that’s because as my friend Jane says ” we’ve worked at it” 
We’ve both exercised, eaten well, never smoked etc. 

Another friend, Claire, tells me that I’m ‘an early adopter’ apparently that means I’ll give most things a go! That’s something wouldn’t do in my 20’s.
 

Our favourite cafe ” Pope & prosecco” in Rome



On top a tour bus around Rome the beginning of a fab week thanks to ‘Wowcher’ never imagined the holiday would be that good.



A fantastic lunch spot on one of the islands near Venice – found by accident while chatting to another traveller on a water bus. Guggenheim in the morning, joining an Italian wedding after lunch! Another fabulous bonus day to enjoy!



Not a bad view from my “morning Yoga” balcony in Barbados. 


Saying Yes is also easier now, I find myself getting ready for a surprise holiday to Dubai!  A friend was let down by her travelling companion and so when I was offered the chance I jumped at it. 
A couple of years ago I found myself in Barbados following a similar opportunity. 
I think my moto should be ‘ something always turns up!’ It usually does. 
Let’s see what this afternoon brings, whatever age I’m supposed to be! 
Jax 
 

Study – exercise Means Better Memory November 30, 2015

Filed under: Fitness,Health — jax allen @ 11:00 pm
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Another study shows exercise means better memory for senior citizens



Many studies find fitness equals better mental ability – this one links it mostly to long-term memory

By Tucker Sutherland, editor, SeniorJournal.com

Nov. 24, 2015 – A new study released today declares that older adults who take more steps than most by walking or jogging performed better on memory tasks. Really, how could this be news? It is just another way of looking at physical fitness and how it enhances memory and cognitive ability. But, this one does find a new twist.

 As the editor of SeniorJournal.com for 16 years I have reported on dozens of studies that have come up with the same result – physical fitness, which can be obtained in many ways, helps people stay mentally fit as they age.

I’m not complaining but I am declaring this is an established reality – exercise equals better mental performance as people age. 

This research started with the question, “Could staying physically active improve quality of life by delaying cognitive decline and prolonging an independent lifestyle?”

 

“Absolutely,” is the answer I could have provided before their study. It has been proven in dozens of studies – maybe hundreds – that primarily have varied only by the technique used to gain the physical fitness – running, walking, swimming, weight-lifting, dancing, hula hoop, etc.





The differences in this study is it looked at groups of both young and old adults. Which leadsthem to look at long-term versus short-term memory.

The report appears online in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society.

The study included 29 young adults (ages 18-31) and 31 older adults (ages 55-82) who wore a small device called an ActiGraph, which recorded information including how many steps each took, how vigorous the steps were and how much time it involved. These are used in many, many studies of physical exercise.

Participants also completed neuropsychological testing to assess their memory, planning and problem-solving abilities. 

In addition to standardized neuropsychological tasks of executive function (planning and organization abilities) and long-term memory, participants engaged in a laboratory task in which they had to learn face-name associations. 

The researchers found that older adults who took more steps per day had better memory performance. 

And, what will appeal to many elderly, the association between the number of steps taken was strongest with a task that required recalling which name went with a person’s face – the same type of everyday task that older adults often have difficulty with. 

In young adults, the number of steps taken was not associated with memory performance.

It is long-term memory that is improved by activity

This lead them to the conclusion that the effects of physical activity extend to long-term memory – the same type of memory that is negatively impacted by aging and neurodegenerative dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease. 

”Our findings that physical activity is positively associated with memory is appealing for a variety of reasons. Everyone knows that physical activity is a critical component to ward off obesity and cardiovascular-related disease. Knowing that a lack of physical activity may negatively impact one’s memory abilities will be an additional piece of information to motivate folks to stay more active,” explained corresponding author Scott Hayes, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine and the Associate Director of the Neuroimaging Research for Veterans Center at the VA Boston Healthcare System.

The authors point out that staying physically active can take a variety of forms from formal exercise programs to small changes, such as walking or taking the stairs. 

“More research is needed to explore the specific mechanisms of how physical activity may positively impact brain structure and function as well as to clarify the impact of specific exercise programs (e.g., strength, aerobic, or combined training) or dose of exercise (frequency, intensity, duration) on a range of cognitive functions,” added Hayes.

The authors say that the objective measurement of physical activity was a key component of their study, because the majority of studies to date have used self-report questionnaires, which can be impacted by memory failures or biases.

This work was supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Rehabilitation Research & Development Service and Clinical Science Research & Development Service [MV]. Assistance with participant recruitment was provided by the Massachusetts Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (P50-AG005134) and Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Center (P30-AG13846).



 

Can Sage Help With Night Sweats? November 24, 2015

Filed under: Health,Senior Moments — jax allen @ 9:34 pm
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Can Sage Help Night Sweats?

Around three-quarters of all menopausal women suffer from night sweats. They can be one of the most disruptive symptoms of menopause because they disturb a woman’s sleep, which may lead to other problems, such as fatiguestress, and irritability. So, what’s the best way 

to manage night sweats? For some, sage has helped to alleviate night sweats and other menopausal symptoms.

How Does Sage Help Night Sweats?

Sage (Salvia officinalis), a member of the mint family, has been used as a medicinal and culinary herb for thousands of years. When it comes to menopause, modern studies have shown that sage helps to relieve both the frequency and severity of certain symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats and dizziness. Though not completely understood, the estrogenic compounds found within this herb are unmistakably effective at regulating hormone imbalance. In this regard, it has also been used to treat irregular periods, and many women find that it helps the body make the transition through hormonal change.

Sage makes an excellent natural remedy, because along with reducing sweating, this herb can provide a relaxing, tranquilizing effect – thus making sleep drier, deeper, and sweeter.

Other Benefits of Sage

Sage is an incredibly multifunctional herb and may provide additional benefits, especially when it comes to brain function and cognition. Thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action, sage may be excellent for:

Delays the onset of Alzheimers disease

Improving thinking and learning in those with Alzheimers

Boosting mood

Improving mental performance in the young

Heightening memory and attention in older adults

Amazingly, its list of benefits continues. Sage is also astringent, antiseptic, stomachic, and tonic, and thus used to soothe scratchy throats, cure canker sores and tender gums, treat asthma, relieve painful bites and stings, clear mucous, and encourage proper digestion.

Side Effects of Sage

Just like any herb or medicine, sage may come with some potential risks. Though considered safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, taking sage in larger, medicinal amounts may result in restlessness, wheezing, vomiting, vertigo, rapid heart rate, tremors, seizures, and kidney damage. It can also irritate the skin in those sensitive to sage.

To avoid the risk of adverse side effects, it is best to consume sage only in the recommended amounts. As an essential oil, the dosage should not exceed 12 drops per day.

More Information

Sage’s anti-sweating and relaxation properties can make it a great herbal supplement for managing night sweats.